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WHO bellwether: Measles on the rise in Europe – Cases and deaths

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Καμπανàκι ΠΟ&Upsilon ;: Κτακρηησιλσσ ηυ–ρσκι ατοι

The World Health Organization records a steep increase in measles cases in Europe for the first months of 2024, sounding the alarm and at the same time highlighting the need for vaccination.

Scientists predict that the number of measles cases in Europe will exceed the already very high number recorded in 2023.

In 45 of the 53 countries in the WHO Europe coverage area – which extends to central Asia – there were 56,634 measles cases and four deaths in the first months of 2024, according to the data.

This is just 5,000 fewer cases than in all of 2023, when 61,070 cases and 13 deaths were detected in 41 countries.

The number is also 60 times higher than in 2022, when only 941 cases of measles were recorded.

“Even one case of measles should be an urgent call to action,” said WHO Director-General Hans Kluge. Europe.

“I call on all countries to take immediate measures, even when the general vaccination coverage is high, in order to vaccinate the vulnerable, to address immune deficits and thus prevent the virus from becoming established throughout the community,” he added.

Viral and communicable disease,measles is often mild, but can cause serious complications in the respiratory and nervous systems. It mostly affects children, but not exclusively. In 2023, almost half of the cases involved children under 5.

“This reflects the number of children who during the pandemic did not get routine vaccinations against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases “, the WHO revealed in a statement, saying that cases have been detected in 27 of the 33 countries where the measles virus has been eliminated.

Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia are themost affected countries with more than 36,000, 28,000 and 18,000 cases respectively from April 2023 to March 2024.

With 1,008 cases Britain is ahead of Austria (456 cases) and is the country of western Europe where measles has spread the most, which was thought to have been eliminated by 2021.

source: CNN Greece

Source: 24h.com.cy

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